tv Nancy Grace HLN October 16, 2009 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT
to investigate. don't you think they have had enough time to study it? >> that is not a lot of time to set up a mechanism to try to investigate these allegations. >> surely they know what is in it by now. >> you cannot set up these structures in a matter of weeks. >> fair enough, they have had enough time to study it, allow them time to set up and investigate. so both sides, really? hamas? the u.s. thinks that hamas -- >> we recognize. >> hamas will set up a credible investigation? >> we recognize president of boss -- president abbas. >> you think of wpa in ramallah will set something up? >> we did not even give them a chance.
>> it seems more officials are voicing their frustration with the absence of any progress on the efforts. is senator mitchell going to pursue the same strategy after center clinton reported -- senator clinton reported? is he going to continue as a special envoy? >> as i understand it, he is continuing his discussions today with the israeli experts that are here. next week on tuesday, he will meet with palestinian experts. secretary clinton will submit
the date that the president asked her for after it thathat. >> i want to follow up on this. >> [inaudible] >> i believe he is meeting with them today as the department. >> is senator mitchell going to pursue the same strategy? is he going to continue the strategy after nine months of nothing? >> you are asking me to prejudge what we are going to report to the president and what our strategy will be going forward. i will wait until we see what is
in that report. >> [unintelligible] the they are calling for more sanctions. what is your position on that? yesterday you said it was a great opportunity to reach an agreement. now they are calling for sanctions. >> our position is that there aren't negotiating teams -- there are at negotiating teams that are involved in an intensive negotiations. they are representing the factor regime and the president. we need to give those teams a
chance to work this out. as i understand it, these discussions have been constructed. we need to give them a chance to work. >> have you had any [unintelligible] >> i do not know the answer to that question. we have diplomatic representation in the country's, but i'm not sure about our discussions with abba as a group. >> what steps do you think the u.s. will take? so much food is wasted in one part of the region. there are much politics -- there
is much politics behind this. >> and about 20 minutes to have a chance to address these questions directly to secretary clinton and secretary bill svil sack. we will make great efforts through our own aid program. this to be coordinated globally. >> [unintelligible] >> it is an important issue that we need to address today and tomorrow and every day after that. >> they said they would boycott the government until certain demands are met. is this a good thing? >> i think our position has not
changed. we are looking at them to foster democracy and respect for human rights. we do understand that the mtc has waited for the government. our position remains the same. there is a way forward through this global political agreement, and we would urge the president to implement this part of it. >> will it get worse for the country if the opposition received aid from the government? >> everybody needs to continue to put pressure on mr. mugabe. we understand the frustration of
the opposition. there is a lack of progress on this. this is an agreement that mr. mugabe himself signed. he has not taken the concrete steps to show commitment to democratic reform in the opening of the political system. what this will mean is [inaudible] >> to have any details of the meeting with iran next week? >> we do not have any announcement to make. i would anticipate that very soon we will make an announcement about who will be in our delegation. this is an important meeting. we will look to the i iranians to show they are serious in following through in geneva to
transfer its uranium to russia. >> what is today? >> today is friday. >> do not you think it will be good to have a delegation set up and ready to go since they will have to leave on sunday? >> we have a delegation set up and ready to go, but we have not made an announcement. but who is on it? >> we will make an announcement. it is not secret. we will make an announcement soon. it is not a sticker. we will make an announcement at the appropriate time. >> monday before the meeting is inappropriate time? >> we will make an announcement at the appropriate time. >> there was a publication that
has a story saying that iran's low enriched uranium has the purity that will render it unusable for bomb making. if that is the case, it could be a clever ploy to get foreign help to pyrrophyte uranium -- purify uranium. is there anything to their report? >> your testing my knowledge of physics. i have no response to that report. we hope that iran comes on monday with some very serious and credible concrete stuff to follow through in geneva with.
>> this has to do with the designation of the secretary for the embassy. i understand that it was the person that obama suggested. for the last four months, this nomination was in congress and it stopped there. i want to know if there will be any work with the congress to help somebody from the state department to act with latin america or maybe you want to suggest another person. >> we have submitted the name to be assistant secretary for western hemisphere affairs. we are involved in constant confrontations with the senate to see that his nomination is acted on.
we hope that the senate will, indeed, act and confirm him as well as the nomination of the ambassador to brazil. >> this is in regard to the trip to russia. there have been reports that an interview with the russian news week that the chief said the u.s. is putting pressure on russia not to sell a 300 system to iran and it had not been exported yet. can you clarify or comment? >> i do not believe that has been published yet. it was published? ok. i have not seen the article, but she was simply reiterating u.s. policy that we do not
believe that this is a the titio sell iran this type of sophisticated defense capability. 300 is a very advanced air missile. we of course, we have understood from the russian government that they have no plans to ship this sophisticated system to a run at this time. >> thank you. but i think peter has one. i think i know what his question is. >> [inaudible] >> there was no meeting that was
planned between the secretary and the others. regarding any kind of unintentional or unannounced meeting, i understand they did meet with more of a social setting, what we would call and "off the record" event. it was an off the record the event. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> next, a look at americans without health insurance. after that, the director of the
cdc outlined pandemic flu preparations. vermont gov. jim douglas talks about cooperation on health issues. >> tomorrow on "washington journal" the john hopkins school of held talks but the safety of the h1n1 vaccine and who should get it. mark rosenblum -- marc rosenblum will talk about of visitors on expired visas. we will talk abut u.s. policy in afghanistan. the founder of the remote area medical volunteer corps details efforts to reach the under injured. it is live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span.
>> two and a sunday, columnist -- on cue in a sunday, the columnist talks about the surprising truth of conservatives. >> and look at demographics of the uninsured in america. from "washington journal" this is 45 minutes. /store. host: on your screen now is diane rowland, the executive vice president of the kaiser family foundation, executive director on medicaid and the uninsured. that is what we will talk about for the next 40 minutes or so, who are the uninsured in america? diane rowland, the 46 million figure of people that are uninsured, how did you derive that figure? guest: those numbers come from the u.s. census burke-bureau.
they do an annual survey of americans and ask them about their health insurance status. those are government statistics that mantra every romany people are uninsured. host: the who are the uninsured? guest: they're all of us. they're working americans, most of them have moderate incomes and cannot afford health insurance because it has become so expensive. many of them work in areas that do not offer coverage. 80% come from working families that just cannot get their health insurance coverage through the workplace like those of us that have coverage. host: according to the charts at the kaiser family foundation has provided, characteristicsç of e uninsured -- we want to show this to our audience. of the uninsured, the 45.7 million uninsured workers, or people, they are one or more full-time workers in a family in 66% of the cases, correct?
guest: right. >and host: and unemployed make p 19%. of the 66% employed full time, where are they working? to their employers not offer insurance? guest: many of them are working for small employers and small employers do not offer it often because it is expensive. it is harder for them to obtain a good deal on health insurance coverage the way the very large, say 1000 employee, might be able to do in the group market. many of them work for a low-wage job. the combination of an employee offering is hard for people because if they were get a small mom-and-pop store, for example, they're likely to be able to get insurance through their employer. if they -- they are unlikely to be able to get insurance through their employer. if they try to purchase it, it
can be prohibitively expensive. you're looking at policies for a family of $13,000 per year and your a low-wage worker making $30,000 per year, you cannot afford it. the majority of large employers offer insurance. about 90%, say, over 250 employees. host: back to the uninsured when it comes to income, you have that 10% or 400% of their income, they have income of four and a% over the fogh -- a federal poverty level and that is 10% of the uninsured. 23% of uninsured people in the u.s. are at about 300 percent of
the federal poverty level. 29% are at 100% of the federal probable and a 38% of unemployed workers are below the federal poverty level. what is the federal poverty level? guest: it is calculated based on family size. for a family of four, it is about $22,000 per year in total income. most of the individuals who are below the poverty level have incomes of below $22,000 for a family of four. which means that they are basically zocor that we consider them under the -- so poor that we consider them under the poverty level and eligible in some cases for assistance through medicaid, but mostly it is for children. we do not really provide adequate coverage. it is a myth that the poor are covered in the u.s. many of those float -- low-
income people are going to be without a of insurance coverage. host: but not eligible for medicaid. of the 47 -- of the 45.7 uninsured americans, the majority are 30 to 54, working age, 19 to 29 years old, 30%, and 0 to 18, 18%. why is the majority in this working age group? guest: the group that is at highest risk of being uninsured are the young workers, and that is primarily because they are just starting out in their careers. many of them are going to work for the first time or are in jobs that are lower paying because they are just starting their careers. many of them are just coming out of school and they have been covered under their parents' policy and are no longer eligible for coverage through
their parents and have gone to the workplace without other insurance. we're looking at a combination of low incomes and low offer rates. host: we have divided our lines a little different this morning between the injured and the uninsured. -- and the uninsured and the insured. the numbers are on your screen. here is another chart that is provided to us by the kaiser family foundation. let's do it by citizenship. again, totally uninsured, 45.7 million. u.s. natives, of that 45.7 million, 74% are u.s. natives. ç6% are naturalized u.s. citizens, and 20% are non-u.s. citizens. what does that mean by non-u.s. citizen?
guest: that includes individuals who are here on visas with green cards who are working, but not yet citizens of the u.s. and they're also -- there are also some who are here illegally and they are included in that number. of the total 47 million uninsured, perhaps as many as 8 million of them are illegal immigrants, and therefore, excluded from the kind of coverage that we provide to citizens. host: you just drop #47 million -- threw out the #47 million. guest: it is between 45 million and 46 million of the elderly and if we include the elderly population, it gets a little bit higher. host: i thought coverage was mandatory at age 65. guest: there are some individuals who do not have the
work orders are required to be eligible for the program, or you raise the immigration issue. some of the seniors of our immigrants have not got a connection there for the social security system and would not be melichar -- eligible for medicare. host: the uninsured overall is what percentage, including the elderly? guest: about 15% of the u.s. population is uninsured. host: and looking at the health care debates on capitol hill, with the decrease to under the various proposals? guest: most of the proposals are looking at providing a broader coverage through the medicaid program to the lowest income and then giving of -- others the option to go through an exchange to get some kind of broad and coverage. it looks like some of the bills will give cutting our insurance -- uninsured in half.
we will still probably have those that are not legal residencts and the world the individuals that have not signed up for coverage in the early days. host: diane rowland is our guest, from the kaiser family foundation, the executive vice president. the kaiser family foundation is not an advocacy group and she will not take a position, but if you have a question about who are the uninsured, she is the person to ask. heather is an uninsured person in washington d.c., you are first of. caller: i have been watching c- span since i was 15 and this is the first time i have ever been on the air. i'm thrilled to be talking to you. i am in a group that is not mentioned very often in the debate, and that is people who are temporary employees. i have been temporary at my place for a year and out and
temporary employment does not offer benefits. i am college educated. i am full time. i can get coverage through the city of your take-home income is less than $1,800 and mine is about $1,900. i have not seen anything in current polls -- proposals that would cover me. people like me that are not technically low-income, but i do not have coverage. guest: your situation is one that many people find they are working and not able to get coverage through their employer. what the legislation is trying to do is to make coverage broader and more available through employers, so in some of the legislative proposals employers would be required to offer coverage or pay a penalty into the exchange so you could get coverage there. basically, the legislation that congress is considering would
try to give you a broader options for getting coverage and hope so that you would not be just above the line as you are right now for the coverage in d.c. host: new haven, conn., anthony on the injured line. -- insured line. caller: are you related to john rowland? guest: no, i am not, although i did grow up in connecticut. caller: i will be 68 this year. i have united healthcare and last year and this year, my premiums went up also with blue cross blue shield, the premiums are going up 30%. everyone talks about the illegal immigrants. how many of them are really injured by any -- insured by
any big insurance like blue cross or whatever? also, diane, we're talking about $250 for the seniors and a lot of people called in saying i would not take it or it is not worth it. we just got $250 this spring and early summer. another $250, about what health. that is not borrowed money. that is coming out of social security. host: anthony, thank you for calling in this morning. diane rowland, to his first statement tomorrow their illegal immigrants who may have insurance coverage? guest: there are, in fact, if they are working for an employer and picking up coverage through the employer. some of the illegal immigrant population has merged into the working force and as such, they can buy coverage and probably to trigger employer. another host: charge from the
kaiser family fund -- host: another charge from the kaiser family foundation. total of 300 million people who are covered by insurance. 52% of them are covered through employer sponsored insurance. the 15% are uninsured. medicaid or public assistance cover 13%. medicare covers about 14% of the population and then private non- group covers about 5%. what is private non-group? guest: that is the insurance that we think about as individually marketed insurance individually marketed insurance that people can purchase on you go through a broker and purchase individual insurance. it is that market that has some of the rule's letter being debated today but they can exclude you for pre-existing health conditions.
that is a small group of people, but it is the group in which people have the most trouble if they have health problems of getting coverage. that is what many of the reforms are talking about. >> of the people who are not insured, how many of you have you broken it down to see how many have just the catastrophic plan for full insurance? guest: we know there is a range of insurance. most with employer based coverage after the comprehensive coverage. some individuals who purchased coverage actually have much narrower policies that even limits some of the benefit of we do not actually have a full measure of how many have catastrophic. we do know as the look of plans with high deductibles, some of those can be classified as really being under insurance.
if you have a minimal income, may not have the research to be able to pay the deductible. we are moving toward having less comprehensive insurance and more out of pocket payments up front that tend to be more toward catastrophic coverage the comprehensive coverage. ome people's minds toward more catastrophic coverage than a a comprehensive coverage. -- host: on6v the uninsured lie from washington -- host: dawn on the uninsured live from washington. caller: i just wanted to let you know that i'm 47 years of age and a self-employed -- and i am self-employed. i employ maybe 45 people. about four years ago i have health insurance coverage and it
started out around $1,800 a year, which i thought was very affordable. within about 4.5 years it went up to $9,000. i call of the insurance company and said, you know, i cannot really afford this because i'm only making about $32,000 per year. they said, well, we will help you out, thanks for calling. they lowered it down $3,000, but then i've got a $3,000 deductible and then i've got to pay 50%. they only cover 50% of the bill. it's got to the point where i thought, why am i paying out $5,000 and then another $3,000 out? it is $8,000. it is like, what i have been saving for the past 15 years, the insurance companies are going to wipe it out in four or five years and i would broker.
-- will be broke. guest: you have hit on a very important point, there's a balance between lowering the premiums and lowering the kind of coverage at you get. sometimes when we lower the premium, we raise the deductible that you have toç pay before ay coverage kicks in. it is so high that it makes the value of the insurance policy only true if you have a very catastrophic illness. that is the tension in looking at health care reform, what are really going to say is health care coverage and how adequate will that be for people of modest incomes? you have also raised a critical point that the cost of insurance continues to escalate and it is getting more and more are of reach for individuals and part of what health reform also has to try to do is to make coverage more affordable for families. it cannot just be that everyone is required to have coverage. you have to be able to afford the coverage i you are getting. host: you also break down the
contributions that an employee makes and that an employer makes. in 1999 on average, the premiums were about $5,791, about $5,800. the employee paid about 4200 of that. in 2009, the average employee paid about $3,500 in in premiums and the employee -- and the employer paid nearly $10,000 a year. why the increase? health care guest: cross have been -- guest: health care costs have been rising and therefore, workers' wages and when you get from inflation, as you just talked about in your previous segment, lags well behind worth the price of health insurance is going. we have a bigger and bigger disconnect between the ability to be able to afford coverage and the price of coverage.
what you are showing here is that today, health insurance for an employer is about $14,000 per year, which is also about what a minimum wage worker makes. employers especially, as we talked about earlier, small employers have a hard choice. they can either hire another worker, or offer them health insurance coverage. host: would this be the cost for a corporation like ibm for tens of thousands of employees? guest: yes, this is a national average. we do a survey of 2000 companies across the country and look at the aspects of the cost sharing and some of the other aspects of the policy, but especially the cost of the average premium. when we look at that further, about one-quarter of the premium is usually the share that employers ask their employees to
pay. some firms pay higher share and some a lower share. host: statistics from the kaiser family foundation. 45.7 million total uninsured in the u.s., about 15% of the total population. of that population, 46% are white. 32% are hispanic. 15% are black. and asian pacific/islander, 5%. we have a tweed here. guest: no, but kaiser family foundation was founded by henry j. kaiser, who also founded the kaiser permanente a health plan as well as kaiser industries, but we are not affiliated in any way with them except to share a common founder. host: michigan, mario, on the injured line. caller: the insurance companies,
the senators are a sleep over there. when the export of our jobs are, they were asleep then and now they are asleep at the insurance companies. they want us to pay money out of our pocket to go see the a doctor. we are poor already. there is no litmus test on the insurance companies to say, all the different names of entrances -- of insurances. they should be forced to put a total price on insurance. it is not truthful when you are drawing money out of your pocket. that is not insurance. you want to be able to pay for travel insurance and that we i have a comparison from one company to another company. they can lie about what they're really doing for the people. and they are still making money at our expense the the point is right there. host: any comment?
guest: certainly, one of the challenges is how to make these policies more easy to compare and regulating the market. many of the changes we are looking at in regulating the insurance market is helping the consumers to know what they're looking at afd!when they get sick, to have the coverage available. one of the reasons we engage in this effort to provide coverage to the uninsured is that we know that the insurance makes a difference in terms of how use the health care system, how quickly you get to a doctor, and the goal for all americans is to help us live healthier and help us to be able to to excess health care when we need it early enough so that a disease like cancer it can be detected when it is still treatable and not go on treated -- and
treated anduntreated. host: about 15% of the u.s. population are uninsured? the debt increased during this current recession? guest: it has clearly increased overtime. even we had a fairly good economy we did not see a great decrease in the number of uninsured. host: why? guest: because interest, as we have talked about, is so expensive that there is not as much of an offering. many employers that would have offered in the past do not always offer it. we have seen a decline in the availability of coverage through the workplace. what we're seeing in this recession is that as people lose their jobs, they lose their of insurance coverage. some of them can maintain their coverage through the cowger option, the ability to extend your employer coverage -- cobra
an option, the ability to extend your employer coverage. but there is less availability of that anymore. many of the stories that we hear about people that never thought it would be uninsured, but now they are unemployed, have lost their jobs and are looking at options for coverage and there are not many out there. . . caller: thank you for taking my
call. i love this program. i watch it every day. you were speaking about the cobra plan. i became unemployed last year. to continue the cobra coverage, i had to produce a two hundred dollars at a point i was ouwitht employment. -- i had to produce $1,800. i applied for medicaid, which i was able to get for my kids and myself until i received the unemployment. at which point, i was too rich for medicaid. i'm trying to understand what exactly are the poverty guidelines? i feel like i should fall within the range.
$330 a week. i'm grateful that i have it. it is keeping me in my home and helping to keep things turned on, but i certainly feel like i should qualify. i want to understand what the poverty guidelines are for a family of three, one adult, two children. guest: you have pointed out the gaps in the existing health care system. the cobra option requires you to pay the full share. when we talked about the individual having a contribution of about $3,500 against a total premium of 13,000 four hundred dollars, when you are on the cobra, you have to pay the full premium because your employer is no longer responsible for that.
if you have lost your job in your are on unemployment, that is too much to pick up. the stimulus bill did provide a subsidy for those kroeber ocobra premiums. that does not really go as far as it needs to go to help people get over the hump. the medicaid program is a means tested program. you have to meet income guidelines, which vary across the state's. we have done in a lot in the past few years to provide broader coverage for children, which is why your children are on the program. we covered children in most states of to about 200% of the poverty level. however, the parents eligibility is much lower.
the reason that your children are getting coverage and you are not eligible is because you have to be a lot poorer. that is one of the aspects that health reform is trying to protect. host: you also bring down the uninsured rates among the states. this chart shows greater than 18%. that is 17 states. they seem to be in the south and the west. the west. 13% to 17% in the middle of is there a lead to no reason for this? there are a number of reasons. the economy of the state is what drives the an insurance rate. a state then has more manufacturing and historical attachment to unionization would
have a higher rate. when you book at the states in the northeast, they are manufacturing base. they are union base. it has helped contribute to a rigorous employe andr base coverage system. states with large agricultural interests you see through the midwest. more rigid where caesar poor, they are less likely to have coverage because -- where states are poor, they are less likely to have coverage. we see higher rates of poverty, unless adequate coverage to the medicaid program, and higher rates of an insurance. caller: my question is, why are the insurance companies so dead set against a public option when
most people you are describing are poor or near poor and cannot afford insurance and the private sector. it does not make a whole lot of sense. it seems like the insurance companies are acting like the dog in the manger. middle want to ensure them and they do not want the government to ensure them either. guest: this has been one of the controversial points in health care debate. public option would provide individuals who are going into the exchange and trying to get coverage to have a choice of either a private insurance plan or a plan that is more modeled on the medicare program. insurers say that will be an unfair competition, that they cannot compete with the public plan. many believe that having a public plan would give them an incentive to be better price and
better in terms of the coverage they offer. i think that will remain one of the huge debates that we have as we go forward with health care reform. host: the majority of the uninsured are in working families. you state that over and over. why? guest: because the nature of our health care system today is based on whether you get coverage through your employer or not. the relationship between working and getting health insurance is one that we billed as the way in which to get health insurance coverage. we want to make a strong point that one of the places we need to strengthen is the employer relationships with individuals to get more coverage through the workplace, or you need to provide a broader alternative so that people who do not get coverage through the workplace can still get coverage. they are working. they're often temporary workers who do not have an option to get
coverage through the workplace. we think it is important to stress that these are not families who do not want coverage. their families who cannot afford coverage. host: kff.org is the web site. florida on the uninsured line. caller: good morning. guest: good morning. caller: until they take the profit motive out of the health insurance companies, there will be this budding head between the private and public sector. someone made an observation on one of the show's earlier in the week. the people are going to reform the system. right now, we are not given a
choice. if the choice is given to the people through a public option, the people will perform the system. guest: i think that choosing your health insurance plan and having lots of options available to you is something that is the goal of health care reform. you would like to be able to have a choice of a public plan. that's why it's so actively debated today. host: richard on the insurer's flyied line. caller: i was under kaiser for over 40 years. i did not know how good you were until the year 2000. my total family plan was $28 per month when i was working for the
federal government. once i retired, then it jumped to $250. from then until now, i have become over 65. my wife is over 65. my insurance is over $800 a month. i get less service. i pay a higher copiague. i pay a higher price for my medication. i do not understand why kaiser is not the model for how to do a health program for the entire country. i simply do not understand that. i will hang up and listen to your comments. thank you. guest: we are the kaiser family foundation, not the kaiser health plan. the plan has been a model for many integrated health-care services.
it can offer more comprehensive services. i think that is clearly one of the issues that everyone will be looking at in health care reform. i'm sure the health plan will be pleased to hear how well you think they have done. host: 15% of the american population is currently uninsured. have you looked at how many are eligible for federal or state aid that do not get it for one reason or another? guest: we do look at that, especially among the lower income population. most of that has been extended to children. we know that the children out there, 8 million children are uninsured. potentially as many as 5 million are probably already eligible for some kind of coverage but not getting it. part of that is of their families may not be aware that their income qualifies them for public assistance.
in other cases, we know that because the parents are ineligible, they're less likely to enroll their children. we think if you extend the broader coverage to the whole family, you would get more people to participate. some of it is just outreach. we need to do better outreach to tell people that there are options, especially for their children to get coverage. one of the issues in health care reform is that if we want everyone to have coverage, perhaps we need an individual mandate, a requirement that you get coverage. today, coverage is voluntary. in many cases, people do not know that they have to sign up for coverage. they find out when their child gets sick that the coverage is available in a sign up there. >host: i apologize to keep going back to this. i just want to figure out who these people are. about 46 billion uninsured americans.
8 million you estimate to be illegal immigrants. they would not qualify. that brings us to about 38 million. some of the plants say they will get us to 91% coverage or 94% coverage rather than the 15% uninsured that we currently have. who is left over? who are those 6% or 9% of folks who would not be covered by insurance under the proposals on capitol hill? guest: the proposals would require people to have health insurance coverage, but would also allow people to get an exemption. some of the individuals would be people who do not qualify for a subsidy, or for whom the subsidies that are offered are not adequate. health insurance is still on affordable. they are exempted. and the one group is the
exempted group. the second group would be the individuals who are barred from coverage because of immigration status. in addition to that, you have some individuals who may elect not to get coverage and pay the penalty that is offered instead of the price of the insurance. that becomes very tricky in health reform. is the penalty substantial enough to provide an incentive for people to get coverage? it is important to get as many people covered as possible. we know that the broader the risk pool, the more affordable insurance premiums will be for everyone. we do not want a situation where ithose who have chronic illness sign up and those were healthy stay out. host: time for two more calls. steve on the uninsured line. caller: i am a laid-off union
worker. i got laid off in the middle of 2008. a little bit before the spring. and i still had health insurance for a while. i was by the italia-- buying it. the cobra plan was $600 per month. host: justic to the health insurance. we're almost out of time. caller: the man said something about public option, which i do not oppose, but i was in south carolina this past summer, and i looked around for health insurance. i could get it almost $300 cheaper and south carolina. why canno't i get it in south
carolina? guest: a lot of that depends on where you live. you are right. there are high-cost areas and low-cost areas. insurance premiums vary across the country depending on the costs of medical care, depending on what' they charge in terms of having people in the pool that are less expensive or more expensive. you are a higher cost state in ohio. your premiums will be higher because health-care costs are higher than in south carolina. one of the issues is -- should we be more national? should we have more of an average national rate so that you do not have a tremendous variation across the country? unfortunately, each state is different and medical care cost different amounts in different states right now. caller: i am a nurse at kaiser.
i understand you are not part of the kaiser health care plan, but i work with managed care. i walked around on a broken pelvic for six months because i was not saying the right thing to my doctor to get an x-ray. i have watched children come in -- it takes weeks to get an appointment with their doctor. right now, if you want an appointment, it is a six-month wait. that is managed health care. if people who do not have jobs want a free ride, they need to understand is on the backs of people who work. guest: you point out that there are many gaps in our existing health-care system. one of the debates is do we have the best health-care system in the world? some say, yes, we do, when you can afford it. there are a lot of issues in how we improve the quality of care,
not just the availability of health care insurance. you're speaking to the broadest challenges we face. host: all of this information we're showing you today is available at kff.org. characteristics of the uninsured in 2008. of the uninsured, one or more full-time workers is in 66% of the households. no workers in the 19% of the households. part-time workers in 14% of the households. everything we're talking about is under 65. we are presuming the elderly are insured by medicare. this is by citizenship. 45.7 million in thuninsured in e u.s. 74% are u.s. native. 6% are naturaliszed.
guest: people year where students abroad as well as illegal population. host: which you estimate to be 8 million people. the entire u.s i hope you will come on again as we listen to this debate. guest: thank you very much for having me. quite tomorrow, and the john hopkins public health talks got the vaccine and who should get it. we will discuss of keeping track of foreign visitors on a foreign ibiza's. richard fontaine will talk about u.s. policy in afghanistan. the founder of the remote area of medical